Just how tough is Steven Seagal, really?
We've all heard the Gene LeBell poop story. We've all heard that he dicktucked when Van Damme and Bob Wall called him out. We've all heard the various lurid tabloid stories and legends about his history and private life.
What I'd like to discuss here is slightly different. I'd like to, if I may, move away from the mocking of the guy or calling him out as a nutcase and an arsehole (just for now, I promise) and instead start a discussion about what The Seagal is *really* like on the mat - as a combatant and a teacher from. I'd be interested in hearing accounts from people who've actually trained/sparred with Stevie, or have heard such accounts from people that they would be prepared to vouch for the honesty of - people with the straight line to the straight dope on The Seagal, as it were. IIRC, there was someone posting on here who said that they'd trained in SS's system and got to hang out at his house a few weekends a year...
Now, I do remember reading anecdotes on the web over the years (perhaps from Seagal's guys, perhaps not) which have stated in no uncertain terms that in terms of martial skill, he is teh r3al d3al.
Just a month or so ago, I ended up on some Aikido forum (Aikiweb, I think) and read a comment from a guy whom had supposedly encountered Seagal at a seminar a couple of years back and had been sceptical of the guy, thinking of him as a fat, old, has-been, egomaniac blowhard (which is probably true - but anyway...) - until that is Seagal told him to come at him full force and *really* try to beat the crap out of him. He did - and apparently couldn't even get near him, such was the speed of SS's footwork, blocks and deflections once he got moving, despite his fatness. Then Seagal turned things around insanely fast and nearly broke the dude's arm.
Just thought that it might be interesting to throw this out there and get a few different perspectives on the man.